Bingeable podcasts 2020

Bingeable podcasts 2020 DEFAULT

The Best Podcasts to Listen to in 2021

If you’ve been listening to podcasts over the last year, you may have worn a few out. Hundreds of thousands of podcasts are in existence, so narrowing down what to get into next can be quite a challenge. And then finding what’s actually good out of those can be a tough job in its own right.

You could listen to friends or hope that the “You Might Also Like” section of your podcast app is up to snuff, but those approaches are most likely hit or miss. Yes, we understand that finding the best podcast for you might be too overwhelming with the wide selections out there, but you know what’s not going to be hit or a miss? Reading the rest of this article and realizing we picked out the best ones for you.

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We’ve gathered some of the best podcasts to listen to in 2021. Whether you’re into politics, sports, true crime, or something else, we’ve got you covered here.

Rabbit Hole

I just recently binged this one in a day — no irony detected. Rabbit Hole takes a look into how the internet affects our lives and our politics every day and in insidious ways, plus how it got to that point. Unparalleled in its research and production, The New York Times’ eight-part series is haunting at times, but the story it’s telling about how we interact with the internet is profound and hard to forget. Well worth your time. 

Listen

Lolita Podcast

Jaime Loftus’ podcast series are always deeply researched and often very personal. Lolita Podcast looks into Nabokov’s classic and controversial novel, but then it looks into how Lolita persists in our popular culture, in ways good and bad. Righteous and alive, Lolita Podcast is definitely one of the best new podcasts for you to check out this year. 

Listen

Startup

In this last season of the series, Startup is Gimlet Media’s CEO Alex Blumberg’s take on the successes and pitfalls of running his media company. Having sold to Spotify earlier this year, this final season looks at the intersection of art and money and how one values each. That value changes, you find out, when you have your employees’ fates in your hands.

Listen

Slow Burn

From Slate, Slow Burn takes on a new subject every season — topics like Watergate, the rise of David Duke, and even the most tense feud of the ’90s between Tupac and Notorious B.I.G. Its newest season recently premiered, taking on a subject that does need some revisiting: The U.S. invasion of Iraq. Slow Burn’s ability to present a comprehensive narrative around complicated topics is inspiring and completely addicting to listen to. 

Listen

The Right Time

I will go so far as to say that The Right Time is the smartest sports podcast available today. Bomani Jones covers all aspects, high and low, around sports in a way that no other sports journalist can. ESPN is taking notice, too, upping the drops from twice a week to three times just this year. Any time is the right time with Bomani Jones. 

Listen

Still Processing

And if you want that kind of deep and intelligent discussion around your other interests, you should be sure to keep Still Processing in your podcast rotation as well. Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris add meaningful perspective to ongoing important conversations regarding movies, music, politics, and more. 

Listen

NYT Popcast

The New York Times also has one of the smartest and most fun music discussions on the podcast market. Journeyman journalist Jon Caramanica has been covering pop music and hip-hop like no one else has for decades now, and as much as he is an expert, every episode includes music-writing guests with even deeper expertise on each artist and subject. I’m a longtime fan of Popcast and can’t recommend it enough. 

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Everything Is Alive

An “unscripted interview show,” Everything is Alive is an interesting take on exploring the world. How so? In each episode, an interviewee is an inanimate object telling its life story. Ever wanted to hear how a bar of soap feels? What about an elevator? Think of this as that part of Fight Club concerning Jack’s organs, except you’re not part of Project Mayhem or burning your and other people’s hands with lye. As far as storytelling podcasts go, it certainly isn’t This American Life, but it is worth a listen.

Listen

The Daily

The Daily is a daily news podcast that drops every weekday morning at 6 a.m., reporting on The New York Times. Hosted by journalist Michael Barbaro, its episodes are based on the Times’ reporting of the day (about 20 minutes of reporting and headline summaries) along with interviews of journalists from the New York Times. If you want audio updates on the latest breaking stories, this is a great podcast to listen to in the morning.

Listen

Bodega Boys

This is a podcast from Bronx natives Desus Nice and The Kid Mero, aka the Bodega Boys. You might have seen them on the Complex TV web series Desus vs. Mero or on the late-night talk show on Viceland, Desus & Mero. Since 2015, the duo has been bringing their raw comedic takes on all things pop culture. If you need a laugh, tune in and become part of their Bodega Hive.

Listen

Stuff You Should Know

You should know more stuff. Lucky for you, there’s something really easy about that! SYSK is long one of the best podcasts — its back catalog at this point is crazy. It certainly has a bundle of episodes you’re already interested in, but the special thing about Stuff You Should Know is how often the episodes spark new interests. Learn something new! Find your new obsession this year with the help of this pod. 

Listen

This American Life

This should be on every Best Podcast list every year. This American Life’s decades-long run as a radio show and podcast showcasing the eccentric and mundane around the country across various themes is a true pioneer in what to expect from any good podcast. The gold standard in audio storytelling, This American Life remains in every quality podcast rotation. 

Listen

Start With This

Start With This is not just a regular podcast; it also serves as a playground for creativity. The hosts, Jeffrey Cranor and Joseph Fink (creators of Welcome to Night Vale) focus on a topic in each episode and end it with two assignments — something to create and something to consume. Overall, the show is designed to encourage listeners to think about, talk about, and make art.

Listen

Every Little Thing

Do you have a nagging question that googling just won’t answer? Try calling into Every Little Thing. No, seriously. Call them at 833-RING-ELT, and they just might answer in their podcast. “Why do we cry?” “Why do punches sound like that on TV?” It’s only the important questions on Every Little Thing, and maybe your question is next. 

Listen

You’re Wrong About

And, if you want to learn even more, You’re Wrong About sheds new light on subjects you think you already know. With the speed at which news and culture move in 2021, it’s so easy for things to get oversimplified. Luckily, the hosts of YWA use their journalistic skills to look into how our collective understandings may be mistaken. Some episodes are one-offs, and some installments in series — regardless, You’re Wrong About is definitely one of the best podcasts on the market. 

Listen

99% Invisible

In what originally began as a podcast about architecture, 99% Invisible is really about design, and design is everywhere. Design is responsible for your street, your house or apartment, how you dress — it’s responsible for how this website is set up. With that in mind, 99% Invisible takes a closer look into those aspects of design that we fail to notice. 

Listen

Finding Fred

If you don’t love Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers to most of us), then can you call yourself a good person? The man that taught so many to be kind over generations is revered by countless, and Finding Fred is a continuation of that. Through conversations with a wide range of people, host Carvell Wallace does his darnedest to continue the legacy that Rogers started more than 50 years ago.

Listen

Article originally published December 28, 2018. Updated to include new suggestions for 2021.

Editors' Recommendations

Sours: https://www.themanual.com/culture/the-best-podcasts-to-listen-to/

Hear these: the 49 best podcasts

The idea of making wads of cash with minimal effort is endlessly appealing, which is why get rich quick schemes are still knocking about. We all know how pyramid schemes work, that they’re unsustainable, and that they’re illegal – but did you know that there are clever “twists” on them that are widespread, popular and operate within the bounds of the law?

The Dream’s first season is an exploration of multi-level marketing (or MLM), a type of pyramid scheme that, because it involves the sale of goods or services, is perfectly legal. Despite that, the overwhelming majority of participants in MLMs will make zero profit or lose money – because, as with any pyramid scheme, their whole structure is based on people at the bottom paying upwards. When you run out of people to recruit, you lose out. This podcast looks at the ways MLMs disguise this unavoidable fact in a fascinating dissection of the industry.

Download The Dreamhere or stream it on Spotify

Sours: https://www.stuff.tv/features/hear-these-49-best-podcasts
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The Best Podcasts of 2020 So Far

In some ways, the podcasting world is fortunate. It’s difficult to record a show from home—hosts have been climbing into their closets and building pillow forts in hopes of approximating the acoustics of the studios they can no longer access—but it’s not impossible. Even as television and film productions have ground to a halt, new podcasts pop up every week to address the particular needs of this moment. The format is nimble and its creators inventive. And it provides us some much needed relief in many forms.

This year has yielded news podcasts that offer daily updates on the coronavirus pandemic, as well as shows especially designed to distract and comfort us. This list focuses on the latter category, a nourishing mix of comedy, conversation and fiction. Some are quarantine-specific: They offer home cooking tips, stories to distract little ones and advice on managing mental health issues in isolation. Others simply allow listeners to escape—to another era, to other problems, to a fictional world. Persevering is hard. These shows make it a little bit easier.

Dead Eyes

Let’s get this out of the way: Dead Eyes is petty. Comedian Connor Ratliff was about to begin filming a small role in the Tom Hanks-produced series Band of Brothers nearly two decades ago, when he lost the part because Hanks allegedly thought Ratliff had “dead eyes.” This rejection from the nicest man in Hollywood haunted Ratliff and arguably derailed his Hollywood career for awhile. While it’s understandable that Ratliff could attribute so much import to a small moment—haven’t we all?—centering an investigative podcast around the incident does feel rather narcissistic. Fortunately, Ratliff knows this and plays it for confessional laughs. The show really comes to life during Ratliff’s discussions with his famous friends, including Jon Hamm and D’arcy Carden. In casual conversation, the celebrities share their own experiences of rejection, a rare insight into the arbitrary, brutal and sometimes bizarre world that is Hollywood casting.

Listen on Apple Podcastsor Spotify

Floodlines

The Atlantic’s excellent reported piece on how the government failed the people of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina is a difficult but apt listen in this moment. Reporter Vann R. Newkirk II reminds listeners that Katrina itself wasn’t that bad: It was a Category 3 storm, not a Category 5. Rather, it was the levee breaks, the government’s fumbling and the media’s sometimes racist and classist coverage of the chaos that ensued that truly upended the lives of people caught in the storm. The show immerses listeners first in the flooded streets, then in the Superdome, where people were left without food or water, a potent reminder that when a disaster—any disaster—hits, it’s the poor who disproportionately suffer.

Listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify

Home Cooking

More people are cooking at home during quarantine, driven by some combination of boredom and necessity. But limited access to groceries can challenge even the most experienced chefs. Salt Fat Acid Heat cookbook author and chef Samin Nosrat (who also stars in a Netflix show that shares a name with her book) and veteran podcaster Hrishikesh Hirway (The West Wing Weekly and Song Exploder) have teamed up to answer any and all quarantine-cooking questions. Have no idea what to do with the bags upon bags of beans you grabbed in a hurried, panicky trip to the grocery store? Need to bake a cake, but you’re completely out of baking powder? Want to join the sourdough-starter trend? They’ve got you. The combination of Nosrat’s unwavering optimism and Hirway’s inquisitiveness makes for joyful listening.

Listen on Apple Podcastsor Spotify

Julie’s Library

Mary Poppins herself is here to save your children from going completely stir-crazy. Since shortly after quarantine began, Oscar winner Julie Andrews has been crawling into a closet soundproofed with pillows in order to host story time for kids 10 and under. Andrews has published more than 30 children’s books with her eldest daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, and the two take turns reading aloud from both classic and new kids’ books. As Andrews makes her way through her personal collection of children’s stories, her dulcet voice is bound to soothe rambunctious people stuck at home, whatever their ages.

Listen on Apple Podcastsor Spotify

Oh, Hello: The P’dcast

Longtime pals, collaborators and Big Mouth co-stars Nick Kroll and John Mulaney wrapped up a Broadway run of their show Oh, Hello in 2017. In it, they played crotchety old New Yorkers who love tuna fish, hate most people and invite big-named comedians like Jon Stewart and Will Ferrell onstage for impromptu conversations each night. (A filmed version of the staged show is currently streaming on Netflix.) Now, they’re starring in a spin-off podcast for charity. The series parodies mystery podcasts like Serial and promises to delve into the life and death of Princess Diana, but actually takes wild diversions into the biographies of their characters, George St. Geegland and Gil Faizon. It’s the funniest thing to happen to podcasting since the start of quarantine.

Listen on Apple Podcastsor Spotify

Phoebe Reads a Mystery

Phoebe Judge is best known as the host of the true crime podcast Criminal, one of the few examples of that genre that makes listeners feel smarter rather than voyeuristic or exploitative. (I’m looking at you, Tiger King.) But Judge’s soothing timbre is the real highlight of her work, and it’s elevated her to celebrity status in the podcasting world. During quarantine, Judge has found solace in reading whodunits, and she decided to create a new show to share her passion. Every day, Judge reads a chapter from a mystery, including works from Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle. Most recently, she’s been reading Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone, widely considered to be the first detective novel. Judge’s renditions rival the best audiobooks—and best of all, they’re free.

Listen on Apple Podcastsor Spotify

Rabbit Hole

New York Times columnist Kevin Roose traced one young man’s journey down the rabbit hole of the internet, from liberalism to the alt-right and back again, in his 2019 article “The Making of a YouTube Radical.” Roose set out to prove that YouTube’s algorithm, designed to keep people watching, led to the political radicalization of disillusioned or lost young people who got sucked into toxic virtual worlds on the platform. Roose is now spinning that story into a longer podcast about how the internet has transformed our culture and politics by recommending videos, social media posts and search results that pull us in different ideological directions and then feed us with content that makes us feel vindicated for forming those views in the first place. Despite the dark holes that Roose reveals, he’s not a pessimist: After all, the internet has become a somewhat more welcoming place in recent months as friends and family connect on Zoom calls, through online games and over social media. Instead Roose sets out to prove that tech companies can make the Internet more productive and less hostile—and that they really ought to invest in that future.

Listen on Apple Podcastsor Spotify

Staying In With Emily and Kumail

Comedic couple Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani are well equipped to serve as social-distancing gurus: as fans of Gordon and Nanjiani’s semi-autobiographical film The Big Sick know, Gordon fell ill and was put into a medically induced coma early in their relationship. As an immunocompromised person, she’s no stranger to self-isolating when she feels unwell—and she has unusually good advice for dealing with the mental health ramifications of quarantine, given that she was a therapist before she became a Hollywood screenwriter. On the podcast, the couple shares the daily trials of isolation—like accidentally dropping a glass of water onto their beloved Nintendo Switch. When she’s not cracking jokes, Gordon offers ways to manage feelings of depression and anxiety. Their chemistry and care for one another, and their loving banter, buoys this podcast above other celebrity shows.

Listen onApple Podcastsor Spotify

Wind of Change

New Yorker journalist Patrick Radden Keefe became obsessed with a rumor he heard years ago that the CIA actually wrote the Scorpions’ hit 1990 ballad “Wind of Change” as a way to propagandize democracy in Germany, where the song was first released. Though it never hit no. 1 in the U.S., the song did top the charts across Europe in the year after the Berlin Wall fell. Keefe sets out to prove his theory in a meandering but addictive podcast that establishes the U.S. government’s long history of using American pop culture as a cover for its covert affairs. The episodes divert into tales of how the government has leveraged Howard Hughes, Nina Simone and an entire fake film crew to execute its missions. (Remember the movie Argo?) While these may feel like diversions from the main thrust of the series, the joy of this podcast is getting lost in the mystery.

Listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify

The Wire: Way Down in the Hole

Many pop-culture podcasts have struggled as the production of new movies, TV series and albums have ground to a halt. But the Ringer’s stable of nostalgic rewatch podcasts—Binge Mode,The Rewatchables, The Recappables—have proven quarantine-proof. Now hosts Van Lathan and Jemele Hill have now given us a great excuse to rewatch what many believe to be the greatest television show of all time: The Wire. Be warned: This podcast is full of spoilers, but it’s worth it. Their recurring “file away for later” segment brings attention to astonishing foreshadowing you probably missed. Upon revisit, the HBO series, which ran from 2002-2008, proves (perhaps unsurprisingly) far ahead of its time, highlighting racial and economic tensions that would explode in American political life years later. Lathan and Hill find that creator David Simon’s analysis of structural problems with America’s justice system, political system and schools has aged shockingly well. The clothes, maybe less so.

Listen on Apple Podcastsor Spotify

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Write to Eliana Dockterman at [email protected]

Sours: https://time.com/5837424/best-podcasts-2020-so-far/

Renegades: Born in the USA

Say what you will about 2020 -- and between the pandemic, political unrest and various environmental disasters, there's a lot to say -- but it was a strong year for podcasts. As 2021 rolls on, there's a whole lot of good 'casts for your ear holes that you may have missed from the last timultuous year. Plus, there are new podcats constantly turning up, like a surprise collaboration between former President Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen.

Whether you're into political scandal, celebrity chit chat or deep dives into history, here's a list of excellent podcasts for you. 

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Following his presidency and the release of Promised Land, the first of two presidential memoirs, former President Barack Obama is doing the obvious thing: Starting a podcast. And he's doing it with the most obvious host: Bruce Springsteen. The two have already released two episodes, one on their friendship and another a discussion on race, with six to go, coming out weekly. Obama and The Boss are teaming up with Spotify for the project, so it's exclusive to that platform for the time being. 

Listen on Spotify.

Bunga Bunga

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If you thought a certain leader of the free world was wild and wacky, wait'll you hear this. Bunga Bunga is an eight-episode podcast that follows the insane tumult of Italy's Silvio Berlusconi era. Berlusconi, a TV exec, real estate magnate and former prime minister of Italy, is one of the most unusual, scandal-prone world leaders of recent times. This podcast, hosted by comedian Whitney Cummings, illuminates that -- all without getting too depressing. 

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.  

The Rabbit Hole

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As far as podcasts go, The New York Times is most known for The Daily. But it also produces several podcast series, including the excellent Rabbit Hole. Launched in April, it begins as a case study in how YouTube algorithms polarize people around extreme politics on both the right and the left. But it ends up going deeper, speaking to the broad schism pervading broader online discourse.

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

Blind Spot: The Road to 9/11

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The two hijacked planes that took down the Twin Towers didn't emerge out of nowhere; they were the consequence of conflict that had been going on for over 10 years before Sept. 11, 2001. This six-part podcast tells the story of that preceding 10 years. Including interviews with FBI agents, people who knew the 9/11 terrorists, journalists and more, this is a heavy but worthwhile podcast series from History and WNYC. 

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. 

Wind of Change

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Wind of Change centers on a conspiracy theory: Did the CIA write Wind of Change, a song by German band The Scorpions? A song so powerful it helped bring down the Berlin Wall? 

The conspiracy theory itself sounds hokey, but the journey that follows isn't. This is a deep dive into the techniques agencies like the CIA use, and -- ultimately -- a story about the power of music to elicit change. 

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. 

Slow Burn

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Do people living through insane times realize just how insane that time is? That's the vague theme of Slow Burn, a podcast from Slate. The first season looks at the presidency of Richard Nixon and the reaction of politicians, the media and the public to the Watergate scandal. Subsequent seasons look at President Bill Clinton's impeachment and slain rappers Biggie Smalls and Tupac. This year's season focuses on KKK leader David Duke and his rise to prominence.

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. 

In Bed with Megan and Nick

And now, something lighter for your 2020.

Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally are known for playing the tempestuously divorced husband-and-wife combo of Ron Swanson and Tammy in Parks and Recreation. They're also actually husband and wife in real life, and this year they started a podcast. They're joined -- in bed -- by the likes of Alec Baldwin, Rob Lowe, Aubrey Plaza and more. If you're after something breezy to chill out to, this is a great place to start. 

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. 

Making Space: The Female Frontier

Hey! CNET does podcasts too! 

From the early days of the space race to the greatest scientific breakthroughs of our generation, women have always played a vital role in the history of space discovery. Sometimes front and center, more often than not invisible, these women helped build our understanding of space from the ground up.

The women who fought to carve out a place at NASA, the scientists who were overlooked by the establishment all the way up to the trailblazers leading the charge in the next age of discovery -- we hear from six women, over six episodes, who represent six important eras in space discovery.

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. 

We Crashed

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At one point, WeWork was valued at $47 billion. A year and a failed IPO later and the workspace company is reportedly worth about 11% of that. This six-part series examines the rise and fall of WeWork and the pitfalls of the dynamic/chaotic world of tech startups. 

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. 

Fiasco: Bush v. Gore

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In the event that you're not sick of hearing about contested elections, Luminary has a great podcast on the 2000 race between George W. Bush and Al Gore. Fiasco is a six-episode series that focuses on the famously contested result -- it came down to Bush's 537 vote lead in Florida -- and it's hosted by Leon Neyfakh, of Slow Burn fame. 

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. 

Crossfire

With the chaotic pace of 2020, the accusations that President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to bolster his 2016 presidential campaign seem like decades ago. But the scandal that triggered a special council probe and, eventually, an impeachment, is one worth revisiting in depth -- and that's what the Telegraph's six-piece Crossfire series does.

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. 

Nice White Parents

Nice White Parents is a five-part series on the US' education system, brought to you by the New York Times and Serial-creator This American Life. It examines the different educational opportunities given to minorities and focuses on the unintended consequences of a powerful bloc: Nice White Parents.

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. 

Phoebe Reads a Mystery

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For those of us who have always had classic mystery books on the to-read list. In each episode of Phoebe Reads a Mystery, Criminal host Phoebe Judge reads a chapter from a mystery book. It started in March with The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Agatha Christie's first published novel, and has since gone through some big titles, including two Sherlock Holmes books. 

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

Fake Doctors, Real Friends

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If you've been meaning to rewatch Scrubs, this podcast gives you an extra reason. Zach Braff and Donald Faison, who play the best-bud duo of JD and Turk on the show, host Fake Doctors, Real Friends. Each episode of the podcast goes over an episode of the show -- in chronological order, thankfully. Perfect if you wistfully remember the 2001-10 medical comedy.

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. 

Office Ladies

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And speaking of real-life best friends doing a watch-along podcast for a show they formerly starred in, Jenna Fischer (Pam) and Angela Kinsey (Angela) join forces for Office Ladies. Most episodes are around 60 minutes long, and the two go over their memories and fun details from shooting The Office. They also occasionally bring special guests in, like John Krasinski and Greg Daniels, who adapted the show from its UK original.

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

Oh, Hello: The P'dcast

You may be familiar with George St. Geegland and Gil Faizon, the aging alter egos of comedians John Mulaney and Nick Kroll. They've conquered Broadway and now they're taking on podcasts. Specifically, a Serial-esque run about the death of Princess Diana -- until the show nearly tears their decades-long friendship apart. It's silly, delightful and full of tuna. 

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. 

We need to talk about the British Empire

The history of the British Empire and its legacy is complex. It's also a history that many people don't really learn about -- and if they do, they rarely learn about it properly. Enter We Need To Talk About The British Empire, a six-part Audible podcast that explore the lasting impact of the Empire through the personal stories of those who lived through it. To use a cliche, it's history come to life in a truly fascinating way.

Listen on Audible.

Stuff The British Stole

Oh no, British Empire, you're not getting off with just one podcast. This thoughtful five-part podcast out of Australia takes a look at some of the loot the Brits took from their colonies throughout the years, a journey that'll take you through India, Nigeria, New Zealand and more. It's hosted by Marc Fennel, who you may have heard on the excellent Nut Job and It Burns Audible Originals. 

Listen on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. 

Floodlines

When we think about Hurricane Katrina, we think about New Orleans being brought to its knees by powerful floods. But did it need to be that way? This eight-episode series from The Atlantic looks at the government's response to the crisis and how much of the chaos could have been avoided.

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. 

Bill Gates and Rashida Jones Ask Big Questions

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A strange duo for a strange time: Bill Gates, of Microsoft fame, is teaming up with Rashida Jones, of Parks and Recreation fame, for a podcast. Adding it to this list is a little premature, since there are only five episodes so far. But, come on. It's Bill Gates and Rashida Jones. Aasking big questions!

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. 

Staying In with Emily and Kumail

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Struggling with quarantine? Feeling a bit alone? Emily and Kumail are here with their guide to surviving the pandemic. They're both writers who work from home and just kind of like staying in anyway. They give you entertainment recommendations and advice on how to avoid cabin fever. But, perhaps best of all, it's just a really nice distraction from the world featuring two people you would really want to be friends with. 

Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

Entertain your brain with the coolest news from streaming to superheroes, memes to video games.

Sours: https://www.cnet.com/news/21-best-podcasts-to-binge-right-now/

Podcasts 2020 bingeable

7 Podcasts to Binge in a Day

Starter episode: “The Real Thing”

‘The Mystery Show’

Picture this: you rent a video from a video store, back when those were a thing. The following day, you go to return the video only to discover that the store is gone. You’re not lost or confused — the store has genuinely vanished. This “Twilight Zone”-esque experience is just one of the real life mysteries that Starlee Kine investigates in “The Mystery Show,” an early hit from Gimlet Media. After the murder mystery “Serial” changed podcasting forever in 2014, there was an onslaught of copycat shows trying to cash in on the same formula by re-examining cold cases. Kine, though, focuses on low-stakes puzzles that involve no true crimes, but are nonetheless utterly captivating.

Starter episode: “Case #1: Video Store”

‘Passenger List’

Blending the old-school pleasures of a radio play with a distinctly modern premise, ‘Passenger List’ is one of the best fictional podcasts of recent years. After a flight from London to New York disappears without a trace somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, the twin sister of one of the doomed passengers (played by Kelly Marie Tran) sets out to uncover the truth about what really happened. Playing on timely anxieties surrounding events like the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines 370, the show from PRX’s “Radiotopia” is both an addictive popcorn thriller for your ears, and now an unexpectedly nostalgic treat for those missing air travel.

Starter episode: “Traffic”

‘Dolly Parton’s America’

You don’t have to be into country music in general, or Dolly Parton in particular, to be pulled in by this Peabody-winning exploration of how the multifaceted star became such an enduring icon. Although much of the show from WNYC Studios is taken up with conversations about just how beloved Parton is by everybody who knows her, “Dolly Parton’s America” avoids hagiography by taking its title seriously, exploring the Dollyverse against a broader national backdrop. The host, Jad Abumrad (“Radiolab”), begins the series by explaining his own connection to the star — he hails from Tennessee just like Parton — and the moment in 2016 that made him see her as a unifying force in an otherwise divided nation. Featuring interviews with musicians, historians, fans and with Parton herself, this is the kind of nuanced and intimate profile that audio does best.

Starter episode: “Sad Ass Songs”

‘Escaping Nxivm’

Last year saw the release of two buzzy rival documentaries about the sex trafficking cult Nxivm, whose leader, Keith Raniere, was recently sentenced to 120 years in prison. But long before either show, CBC Radio was the first to delve into the horrifying and deeply peculiar world of Nxivm, whose members famously included the “Smallville” actress Allison Mack and the liquor heiress Clare Bronfman. In “Escaping Nxivm,”, the first season of CBC’s ongoing “Uncover” podcast series, the journalist Josh Bloch interviews Sarah Edmondson, a former key member of Nxivm who has now become its most famous whistle-blower. An actress by trade, Edmonson makes for a compelling central figure, her voice vividly emotional as she recalls the nightmarish ways Raniere and his chosen leaders gradually chipped away at her sense of self. A tough listen that showcases the unique intimacy of podcasting.

Starter episode: “The Branding”

‘Bag Man’

Many podcasts have found success by re-examining well-known political scandals through a fresh lens (most notably Slate’s “Slow Burn”), but this gem from MSNBC pulls off the same trick with a scandal that almost nobody remembers. That’s because Watergate was dominating headlines at the time, but in “Bag Man,” Rachel Maddow pulls back the curtain on an adjacent 1973 investigation that saw vice president Spiro Agnew accused of brazen political corruption. Maddow does not hesitate to point out what she sees as parallels to President Trump — Agnew angrily dismissed the investigation as a “witch hunt” in one example — and for anyone missing the juicy palace intrigue stories that came out of the Trump White House, this is a must-listen.

Sours: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/30/arts/podcasts-binge.html
Bingeable Tele [Podcast Recording]

Podcasts have transformed the daily grind into an altogether more bearable experience. Providing some much needed escapism from lockdown and bringing moments of joy to otherwise mundane household chores, podcasts have steadily become a necessity of everyday life, ever since Serial first hit the scene.

Whether you’re looking to delve into the gritty details of a true crime podcast, learn something new or simply laugh out loud, we’ve got you covered. These are the best podcasts that you need to make time to listen to, featuring old favourites as well as some new kids on the block. Browse, download and thank us later.


Culture - Interviews - Health and wellbeing - Comedy - True crime - Music
Learn something - Fashion and beauty


Best culture podcasts

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Incredible Women

The brief: Pioneering women on how they enact change
Frequency: 12 episodes
Average run time: 30 minutes

The second series of Net-a-Porter’s Incredible Women podcast sees pioneering female figures talking through their successes and struggles. With a particular focus on how such individuals can use their influence to spark a shift towards a more inclusive society, this six-part podcast series sees the likes of model Ashley Graham and singer-songwriter Rina Sawayama detail their work to facilitate positive change.

Changemakers and leaders in their own spheres, each episode of Incredible Women sheds a light on the work of these powerful women in effecting historical change. Whether it’s humanitarian Elizabeth Nyamayar‪o’s efforts to rally traction with her movement HeForShe or Rina Sawayama convincing the BPI to amend their outdated rules which made her ineligible for the BRIT Awards, prepare to be inspired by these women. Yielding their power responsibly and gracefully, this podcast series highlights women who are using their platform for good.

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Bill Gates and Rashida Jones Ask Big Questions

The brief: What it says on the tin
Frequency: Every Monday
Average run time: 45 minutes

In this unlikely pairing, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and actor Rashida Jones come together to address the big questions in life like: Is there an absolute truth? Is inequality inescapable? Is it too late to stop climate change?

Listen in as the pair talk through these existential questions with one another and their expert guests. While it might sound like a heavy listen, Gates and Jones break down topics to make them informative and optimistic without being alarmist.

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The Cheer Up Luv Podcast

The brief: Kicking cat calling to the curb
Frequency: Most Thursdays
Average run time: 40 minutes

If you’re a female living in the UK with a resting face that isn’t actively overjoyed, chances are you’ve been told to 'cheer up luv'. An extension of a campaign launched on Instagram, in this podcast host Eliza talks with artists, activists and creatives about stories from listeners of their own experiences with sexual harassment.

Challenging stigmas and myths that have been in place for years, this podcast is a must listen for anyone who’s over the normalisation of cat calling or those simply looking for an insight into the daily struggles women face. With guests including the likes of Jamie Windust and Amika George, The Cheer Up Luv Podcast makes for a comforting and engaging listen even when discussing heavier topics.

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What Would The Aunties Say?

The brief: How to navigate your gossiping 'aunties'
Frequency: Seven episodes
Average run time: 50 minutes

In this podcast, host Anchal speaks to guests about the common struggles faced by members of the Asian community that are often swept under the rug for fear of what 'the aunties' might say. A broad term for elder family members who tend to hold very traditional and old fashioned beliefs, 'aunties' often hold their relatives to these very rigid cultural expectations.

Discussing personal experiences as well as those of her guests, Anchal breaks down these common issues to reveal how prevalent harmful beauty standards and toxic reputation pressures are. Offering a fresh take on how to navigate expectations thrusted upon generations from their elders, no topic is off-limits in this podcast. From interracial relationships to skin lightening, What Would The Aunties Say? is a relatable and valuable look into the struggles faced by the Asian community, broken down into engaging and reflective conversations.

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The Guilty Feminist

The brief: Validation you’re not a 'bad' feminist
Frequency: Twice a week, often Mondays and Wednesdays
Average time: 50 to 70 minutes
Helping to make feminism more accessible for the masses, The Guilty Feminist is the perfect non-preachy format to better understand what being a feminist in the 21st century means. If you’ve ever found yourself feeling like a 'bad' feminist, this podcast will help you put that to rest. Tackling issues that can at times be difficult to talk about, host Deborah Frances-White perfectly balances discussion around important contemporary problems with comedy and lightness. Examining topics that range from sex workers’ rights to women in music, no topics is off limits in The Guilty Feminist. Prepare to join a tribe of inspiring, motivating and moving women.

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Code Switch

The brief: Challenging, vital and important conversations about race
Frequency: Every Wednesday
Average run time: 25 minutes

Code Switch is a podcast bringing upfront and open conversations about race to the front of the agenda. Through consistently informative and engaging episodes, Code Switch unearths the intricacies of experiences within marginalised communities, examining a host of different issues ranging from Islamophobia to anti-immigration movements like ending DACA.

While Code Switch undoubtedly covers weighty topics, they break down overarching issues to make them accessible while still doing justice to the complex topics they cover. Exploring the ways in which race affects society from politics and history to media and sports, this insightful podcast invites listeners to educate themselves and join the conversation.

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The Michelle Obama Podcast

The brief: Human conversations with Michelle Obama
Frequency: TBC
Average run time: TBC

Michelle Obama fans will be pleased to learn that the former first lady is launching her own podcast, available on Spotify and free to download from July 29. The Michelle Obama Podcast is set to feature frank conversations between Obama and guests that range from Conan O'Brien to her mother, kicking off with her husband former president Barack Obama.

In a statement on the new series, Obama said 'My hope is that this series can be a place to explore meaningful topics together and sort through so many of the questions we’re all trying to answer in our own lives'. Delving into everything from the coronavirus pandemic to racism, the podcast series is intended to 'help listeners open up new conversations—and hard conversations—with the people who matter most to them', allowing us to expand our own empathy and understanding.

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Have You Heard George’s Podcast?

The brief: Audio becomes art on this word journey
Frequency: 18 episodes to date
Average run time: 25 minutes

George the Poet’s podcast is unlike any other you will have listened to before. Integrating music, storytelling, commentary, poetry and interviews fluidly with one another, Have You Heard George’s Podcast? feels like listening in on theatre. Expertly synthesising each of these mediums, George the Poet carefully weaves words together to produce narratives that are topical, enlightening and thoroughly moving.

Whether it’s a political or social commentary or a more personal look into George the Poet’s life, you’re sure to come away from each episode having learnt something new. A true creative feat, this podcast is a pleasure to listen to.

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Mixed Up

The brief: Warm, insightful and relatable conversations around being mixed race
Frequency: Weekly, four episodes to date
Average run time: 50 minutes

Tackling what are typically thought of as uncomfortable conversations, Mixed Up is a podcast designed to create a community amongst mixed race people everywhere and those seeking insights into the realities of being mixed race. Engaging, articulate and entertaining, hosts Emma Slade Edmondson and Nicole Ocran effortlessly guide listeners through varied perspectives, shared experiences and home truths. ‘In making this podcast, it’s also become clear that these stories are relevant - not just to people of mixed heritage but to their families and friends.’ says Emma, one of Mixed Up’s hosts.

Emma and Nicole explain how being mixed race can often feel like being caught between different identities, struggling to find belonging and seek to address this by offering up anecdotes and insights. 'Nicole and I felt that we wanted to facilitate this wider dialogue and the representation that we wished had been available to us both in growing up and in adulthood’ says Emma. Nicole echoes this, explaining ‘I’ve always said that no one ever taught me how to be mixed or what being mixed would mean not only to the cultures I inhabit, but what it means in the wider world.’. In this podcast series, the pair set out to amend this by speaking on their own struggles as well as shared experiences that come with being mixed race.

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The Diversity Gap

The brief: Helping listeners convert good intentions into practical changes
Frequency: 33 episodes to date
Average run time: 40 minutes

The Diversity Gap is a podcast dedicated to sharing insights from thought leaders around the lack of diversity within our everyday culture and devising ways in which we can contribute to closing this gap.

Through vulnerable conversations that explain how patterns in society have created this culture, host Bethaney Wilkinson prompts listeners to consider how the diversity gap manifests in their lives, highlighting the space between good intentions and tangible impact. Pushing to illustrate the need for equal justice and action, The Diversity Gap is a powerful resource in offering practical insights that listeners can use to help contribute to the long-overdue closing of the diversity gap.

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Black Gals Livin’

The brief: Hilarious, healing and honest in equal measure
Frequency: Every Monday
Average run time: One hour and 15 minutes

Talking through everything from navigating male-dominated environments and body image to the latest film and music releases, Black Gals Livin’ is the perfect audio escape. A balance of pop culture, mental health discussions and witty anecdotes, hosts Vic and Jas have created a podcast that feels like listening in on a chat with friends, always bringing the same refreshing honesty and understanding to their episodes.

The podcast looks into the experiences of Black women and flags the importance of using this platform to talk through such issues. Open, hilarious and insightful, Black Gals Livin’ is a must hear for all.

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The Gurls Talk Podcast

The brief: Adwoa Aboah serves up fierce female chat
Frequency: 42 episodes to date
Average run time: 40 minutes

Motivating and inspiring, The Gurls Talk Podcast sees model and activist Adwoa Aboah in conversation with a range of different guests who share and reflect on their own experiences. Talking through everything from mental health and sexuality to race and religion, this podcast tackles important issues with amazing grace and emotional intelligence.

Highlighting a lack of understanding around complex issues and offering listeners the means to learn more, Gurls Talk makes for an illuminating and insightful listen while still being relatable and offering brilliant chat. If you’re looking for a place to start try the Munroe Bergdorf episode in which she eloquently speaks on her transgender activism or the most recent episode in which Aboah is in conversation with activist and International Ambassador for Black Lives Matter, Janaya Future Khan.

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1619

The brief: A heartbreaking and necessary education in the origins of systemic racism
Frequency: 5 episodes
Average run time: 35 minutes

Eloquent and evocative, 1619 is an eye-opening podcast which unravels the history of oppression and systemic racism that have come to define US culture. Heartbreaking yet necessary, this series educates listeners in the injustices of the past that stem down through the years to continue impacting the lives of Black people today.

Thoughtfully arranged, thoroughly researched and delivered powerfully, host Nikole Hannah-Jones’s words resonate. Informative and precise, she brings clarity to topics like white privilege and how political language is constructed to conceal and dismiss racism. The stories documented in this series serve as a stark reminder of the harsh reality of racism and will no doubt prompt you to look deeper into the stories documented.

If you’re looking for a place to start, Wesley Morris’s episode on The Birth of American Music is a listener favourite. Necessary and thoroughly informative, 1619 is an important listen that reverberates much that is happening in the present day.

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Your Broccoli Weekly

The brief: Engaging, easy to digest news
Frequency: Every Sunday
Average time: 50 minutes

Staying in the loop has never been simpler than it is with Your Broccoli Weekly. In this new podcast, host Diyora Shadijanova selects three major stories from the week and breaks them down into digestible, insightful listens. Balancing facts with varied viewpoints, Your Broccoli Weekly tackles core issues that are often overlooked or avoided head on. Informative and engaging, this podcast provides a much needed fresh look at the state of British culture and politics. To get an idea of what you can expect in the weeks to come, give the 2019 round-up episode a listen.

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Pod Save the People

The brief: Essential listening for enlightenment
Frequency: Every Tuesday
Average run time: One hour

Shedding light on the remarkable and the horrific, in this podcast activist DeRay Mckesson examines judicial and political changes that affect some of the most vulnerable in society.

Examining very human issues, particularly around the long-lasting impact of American history and how it has both created and sustained racial division, DeRay eloquently talks through the origin and development of these complex issues while offering not only hope, but crucially, actionable ways to contribute to change.

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About Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge

The brief: Informative discussions examining race in the UK
Frequency: 9 episodes
Average run time: 30 minutes

A challenging and educational listen, in this podcast author Reni Eddo-Lodge (author of Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race) introduces listeners to the often overlooked yet integral aspects of race. While taking on what is clearly a complex and intricate subject, Eddo-Lodge delivers impactful insights in a clear, measured and digestible manner.

About Race tackles the conversations that not everyone always wants to have. In this well researched podcast, Eddo-Lodge examines the UK’s recent history of multiculturalism, racism within our society and the ingrained narratives that surround these topics. Offering the tools and knowledge to allow people to know better and do better, About Race reminds us to keep up the conversation, review where we once were, where we are now and whether anything has changed.

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Homo Sapiens

The brief: Eclectic and energetic discussions around LGBTQ+ themes
Frequency: 35 episodes as well as a handful of shorter bonus clips
Average time: 50 minutes

Self-described as 'Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’ for an LGBTQ+ audience', Homo Sapiens provides frank yet fun discussion around the stories shaping the international LGBTQ+ community. Helmed by Christopher Sweeney and Will Young (yes, that Will Young), the podcast features informative tidbits, stories and interviews with inspiring people including the founder of UK Black Pride and Britain’s first out Muslim drag queen. A candid exploration into everything from how the world is changing for gender-fluid people to Ru Paul’s Drag Race, Homo Sapiens makes for a heartwarming, easy listen while still addressing often stigmatised issues.

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Best interview podcasts

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Grounded with Louis Theroux

The brief: Louis in lockdown
Frequency: 10 episodes
Average run time: One hour

Using lockdown as an opportunity to track down guests he has long wanted to talk to, in this podcast series Theroux discusses a combination of both lighthearted and weightier topics. Offering a look into the highlights of his guests’ careers and how they have been coping during lockdown, whether you’re familiar with the interviewee or not, Theroux’s relaxed approach elicits refreshingly honest anecdotes that make for an entertaining listen.

Featuring an eclectic range of guests, Lenny Henry’s episode stands out as particularly honest and moving. Talking through the beginnings of his career, his first-hand experiences of racism in the UK and his relationship with his mother, Henry expresses himself with measured yet impactful clarity.

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My Wardrobe Malfunction

The brief: Wardrobe wins and fashion faux pas
Frequency: Every Thursday
Average run time: 40 minutes

Clothes have the ability to make or break our day, setting the tone for how we feel about ourselves and accounting for a major aspect of our own identity. In this podcast, Susannah Constantine (What Not to Wear and Trinny & Susannah) explores the far-reaching impact of our relationship with clothes. Featuring different guests each week who talk through their fashion faux pas, comfort blankets, and naturally, wardrobe malfunctions, guests include the likes of Elizabeth Hurley, Tan France and even old friend Trinny Woodall. Warm and witty, this podcast is a safe space for all fashion blunders, with listeners writing in with their own wardrobe malfunctions each week. If you need something to ease your own regret over that outfit, My Wardrobe Malfunction is the perfect thing.

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Growing up with gal-dem

The brief: Intimate and educating reflections on growing up
Frequency: Usually every Wednesday
Average run time: 40 minutes

A perfect balance of humour and honesty, Growing up with gal-dem is a podcast designed to foster conversations around evolving as individuals and the experiences that have marked journeys along the way. In relaxed and relatable discussions, in each episode a different individual is invited to respond to old texts, diary entries or letters from their younger selves.

Featuring guests including Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You) and BRIT nominee Joy Crookes, each episode unravels touching and deeply personal stories about growing up. Fusing laughter, education and hope, the podcast provides a fresh perspective on the struggles of growing up. Feel good listening guaranteed.

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Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations

The brief: Uplifting and open discussions
Frequency: Every Wednesday
Average run time: 30 minutes

In a selection of interviews with thought leaders, experts in their fields and global stars, Oprah does what Oprah does best - draw out valuable and interesting insights from inspiring people. From Michelle Obama to Chanel Miller, lose yourself in these intimate and open conversations with some of the world’s best and brightest. Motivating, uplifting and generally just an enjoyable listen, each episode of Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations offers a different learning in relation to everything from mindfulness to how you can work towards realising your life goals. If you’re looking for a place to start, we recommend trying her episode with Lady Gaga in which no topic is off-limits and the pair candidly talk through mental health, spirituality, chronic pain and other life challenges.

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Dolly Parton’s America

The brief: A look into the Dolly-verse
Frequency: Nine part series
Average time:
50 minutes

The podcast you didn’t know you needed, Dolly Parton’s America is a deep dive into the world of this living legend. An intimate portrait of the country star and her far-reaching impact on American culture, this podcast looks at everything from Dolly's discography to deeply personal anecdotes. Carefully crafted, refreshingly personal and overall easy listening, prepare to fall in love with Dolly Parton in this series.

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Awards Chatter

The brief: Hollywood heavyweights talk through their careers
Frequency: Weekly
Average time: One hour

Awards Chatter is your go-to for revealing, in-depth conversations with some of the most accomplished people in entertainment. Hosted by Scott Feinberg, his thorough approach to research elicits sincere engagement and enthusiasm from guests. Posing thoughtful yet tough questions, each episode is packed with quality insights that your average interview wouldn’t scratch the surface of. A nirvana for cinema fans, the informal interview style of this podcast makes for an easy yet interesting listen. Better still, there’s no shortage of star power, with past guests including Julia Roberts, George Clooney and Shia LaBeouf.

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Table Manners

The brief: Dinner table discussions
Frequency: Every Wednesday
Average time: 50 minutes

Laugh and listen your way through this podcast which gives an update to the standard interview format, joining dinner and discussion. Hosted by Jessie Ware from the comfort of her own dinner table, Table Manners has the feel of a cosy catch up rather than formulaic interview. With Ware’s mother Lennie in charge of cooking each week, listen in as the pair talk through their guest’s life, loves and vitally, favourite foods. With past guests including Antoni Porowski and Charlotte Tilbury MBE, nothing is off the menu on this podcast. Table Manners is served.

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How I Built This

The brief: Innovators share the stories behind their brands
Frequency: Typically every Monday
Average time: 50 minutes

Ever wondered how some of the world’s biggest brands got their start? From Five Guys to Instagram, How I Built This gives listeners a chance to learn about the stories behind now-huge businesses. Speaking to a different creator in each episode, hear origin stories as told by the people who lived it themselves. Through childhood anecdotes, humble beginnings and often unprecedented growth, this podcast peels back some of the mystique surrounding business success, exploring the highs and lows of innovators along the way. Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking for advice or simply want to hear the fascinating context behind some of the world’s best loved brands, you’re in for a treat. Pro tip - be sure to listen to the Ben & Jerry’s episode and prepare to be inspired by their feel good story and uncompromising stance on humanitarianism. If you think you love Ben & Jerry’s now, wait until you listen to this.

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Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness

The brief: Cosy chats with the feel good Fab Fiver
Frequency: Every Wednesday
Average time: Roughly 50 minutes each

If you’re left feeling like you haven’t had your full JVN fix after finishing the latest series of Queer Eye, fear not. We have the solution. A weekly podcast exploring just about everything and anything, in each episode Jonathon speaks to a different expert, talking through themes that span LGBTQ laws, to kittens. Bringing the same honest yet optimistic outlook that we have come to love him for to each episode, this series is the perfect way to learn something more about a whole host of issues in a digestible yet intelligent way. You’ll come for JVN but stay for the genuine insights.

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How to Fail

The brief: Reassuring anecdotes of failure from the people who seem to have it all
Frequency: Every Wednesday
Average time: 50 minutes

A celebration of our shortcomings and imperfections, How to Fail is the reminder we all need that it’s our failures that shape us the most. Hosted by journalist Elizabeth Day, each week a new guest imparts some wisdom around their personal challenges, ingrained anxieties and how dealing with them has helped them grow and go on to success. Undoubtedly a feel good podcast, guests’ refreshingly vulnerable and honest anecdotes make this a treat to listen to. Start yourself off with Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s second How to Fail episode in which she talks through three personal failures from the past year as well as sharing some insights about how Fleabag came into existence.

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Chanel Connects

The brief: Creative leaders join forces to reflect and review
Frequency: Seven episodes
Average run time: 30 minutes

Chanel Connects is the new podcast series from the luxury Parisian fashion house which sees industry leaders and innovators come together for intimate and immersive conversations. Examining society, spirituality and beyond, each genre-defining guest offers a look into how they have been navigating our new and unfamiliar world.

In conversations between the likes of actor Keira Knightley and writer Diane Solway, a new resilience and optimism emerges, with Tilda Swinton musing in one episode that while ‘we’re having to give up on all sort of fantasies that we had and plans that we had’ one has to ‘re-calibrate one’s courage and one’s imagination’.

A testament to the strength of humankind and the ever-changing realms of our own inspiration, this podcast series provides an opportunity to reflect on the stark shift in how we look at things and the voices and issues that we place value on.

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Best health and wellbeing podcasts

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Feel Better, Live More with Dr Rangan Chatterjee

The brief: Your prescription for practical health advice
Frequency: Weekly
Average run time: One hour

Particularly at the moment, it can be hard to know where to turn for accurate medical insights free from sensationalism. In this podcast, Dr Chatterjee offers just that - practical advice and tips on how to support your health and wellbeing, both mentally and physically. A GP with over 16 years of experience, through discussions with health experts and different personalities, Dr Chatterjee cuts through the noise to provide informal yet informative content relevant to daily living. Well researched yet entirely accessible, Feel Better, Live More offers balanced, sensible and easily implementable advice on how you can improve your quality of life. The health podcast you didn’t know you needed, Dr Chatterjee explains it best himself: 'Health has become overcomplicated. I aim to simplify it’. For those of us guilty of feeding our anxiety by overdosing on the news at the moment, it's well worth giving the new episode on coronavirus a listen to help you manage your worries.

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Happy Place

The brief: Uplifting and inspiring people explain how they navigate life
Frequency: Every Monday
Average time: Around 40 minutes each

Happy Place sees Fearne Cotton delve into mindfulness and what happiness means to different people. In intimate conversations with the likes of Mary Berry and, more recently, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the great success behind this podcast is how universally relatable it is. Uplifting and sincere, Happy Place allows listeners a rare look into less openly talked about issues like mental health in the public eye. Highlighting humanity and reminding us that celebrities face a lot of the same obstacles that the average person does, the podcast is a uniting, positive force that we could all do with a bit more of.

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Best comedy podcasts

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Dear Joan and Jericha

The brief: Mercilessly sardonic agony aunts
Frequency: Two seasons, 8 episodes each
Average time: 20 minutes

Excruciating and yet entirely addictive, Dear Joan and Jericha is a satirical advice podcast in which Julia Davis and Vicki Pepperdine take on the roles of two self-involved middle-aged agony aunts. Addressing the relationship woes of their listeners with the most perfect mixture of condescension, crudity and pure cruelty, this podcast will shock you and make you laugh in equal measure. Dark comedy at its best, you can always count on Joan and Jericha to offer thoroughly patronising and unhelpful advice.

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Katherine Ryan: Telling Everybody Everything

The brief: Entertaining and empowering chat from comedian Katherine Ryan
Frequency: Every Wednesday
Average run time: 30 minutes

A comedy podcast unlike other comedy podcasts, in addition to being an entertaining listen, Katherine Ryan: Telling Everybody Everything sees the comedian address difficult subject matter with refreshing honesty and engaging storytelling.

From acknowledging privilege to her experience with pregnancy loss, with Ryan no topic is off-limits. Compelling, raw and empowering all at once, in this podcast the comedian perfectly balances candid chat with topical issues. Offering upright and thoroughly entertaining anecdotes, her natural wit brings light and humour to each episode, making for a pleasant yet thought-provoking listen.

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Fake Doctors, Real Friends with Zach and Donald

The brief: Scrubs co-stars relive the hit show
Frequency: Tuesdays and Thursdays
Average run time: 1.5 hours

If you're a Scrubs fan there's little doubt that you'll love this podcast. Hosted by stars Zach Braff and Donald Faison, each week the pair join forces to relive the hit TV show episode by episode. This comedy podcast sees the duo bring the same energy as they did in the show, offering up both nostalgia and laughs.

While reminiscing on their best loved memories from the set makes the foundation for the podcast, it's the authentic chemistry between the pair that make this podcast such an enjoyable listen. Packed with behind-the-scenes insights, interesting tidbits and hilarious digressions, listening to this podcast is like sitting in on a conversation with friends.

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Revisiting

The brief: Your 2010s nostalgia fix
Frequency: Weekly
Average run time: 30 minutes

The golden years: when frosted tips were a thing, low rise jeans were at their peak and everyone wanted to get their hands on a Motorola Razr. Welcome back to 2006. In this funny and forthright podcast, hosts Laura K and (also) Laura G read their way through angsty diaries, old Facebook statuses and relics of their past. Relatable, funny and packed with nostalgia goodness, this podcast will take you back to a time when poking someone on Facebook was considered the ultimate flirtation, when Tammy Girl was the place to shop and everyone was drenched in Abercrombie’s Fierce.

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GOSSIPMONGERS

The brief: Ridiculous rumour reading from British comedians
Frequency: Two seasons, 17 total episodes
Average time: 30-40 minutes

This podcast sees comedians David Earl, Joe Wilkinson and Poppy Hillstead read out absurd rumours and urban myths sent in from listeners. Spanning the almost believable to the entirely ludicrous, whether the stories are true or not (likely not) you will undoubtedly find yourself giggling through each episode. With guests including the likes of Ricky Gervais and Richard Osman, whatever you do make sure that you make it to season two’s second episode - a firm fan favourite in which the panel and Joe Lycett delve into the tale of ‘the space worm’. Weird and wonderful comedy at its finest.

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Off Menu with Ed Gamble and James Acaster

The brief: Where food and comedy meet
Frequency: Every Wednesday
Average time: One hour

This podcast sees Ed Gamble and James Acaster talk to guests about their dream menu, from starter to dessert. Though it might not sound like the obvious formula for a comedy podcast, it makes for a laughter-inducing listen, covering integral societal issues such as ‘poppadoms or bread?’ and the best burger in the world. With guests ranging from Loyle Carner to Jess Phillips MP, every episode has its own varied, hilarious tangents. Just make sure you don’t listen on an empty stomach.

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Mortified

The brief: Adults read out hysterical, honest and heartwarming relics of their childhood
Frequency: Twice a month
Average time: 30 minutes

Mortifying in the greatest possible way, this podcast is a series in which adults read the humiliating things they wrote as a child including diaries, letters, lyrics and everything in between. As if that weren’t cringe-worthy enough, they’re airing these embarrassing stories for total strangers. You’ll undoubtedly relate to 90 percent of the stories and will find yourself laughing your way through this honest, nostalgia-inducing podcast.

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Sooo Many White Guys

The brief: Hilarious, candid discussions with a diverse line-up of innovators
Frequency: Four seasons, between 10-15 episodes each
Average time: 40 minutes

If you were a fan of Two Dope Queens, you’ll already be familiar with the sharp wit of Phoebe Robinson. In this podcast she’s over being 'the token black woman in an ocean of white dudes.' So over it that she’s taking matters into her own hands. In discussions with musicians, authors, actors and performers who are generally non-white, female and members of the LGBTQ+ community, Robinson brings her usual creative insight, humour and flair. With cameos from the likes of Lizzo and executive producer Ilana Glazer, at the end of each season Robinson flips the switch brings in a 'token white dude' to speak on behalf of the 'entire white race.' Tackling prevalent issues around race and feminism in her distinctively funny yet effortless way, this podcast is a welcome breath of fresh air.

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If I Were You

The brief: Comedy duo give their two cents on listeners’ tribulations
Frequency: Every Monday
Average time: 45 minutes

Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld host a comedy advice podcast in which they respond to real listeners’ problems, offering tongue-in-cheek, at times morally questionable advice. Observational comedy at its best, the duo have perfected the formula for this podcast over the years, mocking listeners and providing unsolicited advice along the way. With over 400 episodes under their belts and cameos from the likes of Ben Schwartz and Thomas Middleditch, if you’re just learning about this podcast now you’re in for a pleasant surprise.

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My Dad Wrote a Porno

The brief: Excruciating yet hilarious reading of an amateur erotic novel
Frequency: Every Monday
Average time: 40 minutes each

No best podcasts list would really be complete without a shout-out to My Dad Wrote a Porno. Cringe-inducing in the best way possible, in each episode host Jamie Morton reads a chapter of his father’s amateur erotic novel Belinda Blinked to two friends. Analysing and grimacing their way through the bawdy prose of 'Rocky Flintstone' (his father’s chosen pseudonym), this podcast will see you laugh, groan and learn how to liken to female form to a whole host of seemingly innocent inanimate objects. With over 200 million downloads and sold out live shows to boot, you don’t have to just take our word for it when we say it’s worth a listen.

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Comedy Bang Bang

The brief: Amazingly absurd improv-come-chat
Frequency: Every Monday
Average time: Between one to two hours

One for the comedy nerds, Comedy Bang Bang is a weekly podcast hosted by writer Scott Aukerman (co-creator of Between Two Ferns). With past guests including the likes of Andy Samberg, Chelsea Peretti and Weird Al Yankovic, no two episodes are similar on this comedy podcast, though that’s exactly the beauty of it. While often beginning as an interview format, this quickly evolves into a fusion of conversation and character improv from comedy legends. For newcomers to Comedy Bang Bang it’s worth having a listen to their ‘Best of’ episodes so you can get a feel for the show’s at times bizarre (but brilliant!) sense of humour.

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Best true crime podcasts

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Dr. Death

The brief: The true crime neurosurgeon
Frequency: Seven episode series, second series starting
Average run time: 40 minutes

Christopher Duntsch was a neurosurgeon who promised to fix you. Charismatic, witty and with accolades to boot, patients who came to Dr. Duntsch put their trust in the neurosurgeon with the hope that he would transform their lives. And while he did, it was often for the worse. This true crime podcast looks at the irreparable damage inflicted by 'Dr. Death' and what went wrong in a system that failed to protect patients at every turn.

An addictive yet disturbing listen, this podcast will fascinate and shock you in equal measure. Fans of the first series will also be pleased to learn that Dr. Death returns for a second season in 2020, this time examining a new doctor with a new line of scams - meet Dr. Fata.

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The Dating Game Killer

The brief: The notorious serial killer you’ve never heard of
Frequency: Six part series
Average run time: 45 minutes

On 18th September 1978, viewers across the US tuned in to watch the popular TV show The Dating Game. But unbeknownst to them, bachelor number one was a diagnosed sociopath and serial killer. With perfectly coiffed dark hair, enormous lapels and an air of complete self assurance, his sharp quips and charisma made him a crowd favourite. No one would possibly suspect that this man was one of the US’s most notorious killers, committing crimes with multiple victims over a period of 11 years. This thrilling true crime podcast explores how the ‘Dating Game Killer’ managed to evade authorities for so long and how his appearance on the show eventually led to his downfall. With vivid storytelling, this series is sure to be your next binge listen.

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The Immaculate Deception

The brief: Unmasking the medical malpractice of a fertility doctor
Frequency: Weekly
Average run time: 30 minutes

The Immaculate Deception is a new true crime podcast in which journalist Jenny Kleeman unearths the jarring truth behind one Rotterdam fertility clinic. Inundated with women desperately hoping to have children, many did indeed leave the Karbaat Kids clinic pregnant. But by what means? As the babies conceived at the clinic grew up and began asking questions, there were murmurs that some patients had been given a service they had not requested. This podcast investigates the lengths to which one doctor was willing to go in order to create new life. In a story never intended to be told, track the almost thirty year career of one renowned fertility doctor to discover the medical malpractice and deceit that went undetected at Karbaat Kids for far too long.

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The Last Days of August

The brief: Captivating investigation into the death of an adult actress
Frequency: Seven episodes
Average time: 30 minutes

Centring on the tragic suicide of 23-year-old adult actress August Ames, this podcast provides an unsettling look into the pornography industry, exploring a number of deeply personal stories that converge along the way. Journalist Jon Ronson (The Butterfly Effect) investigates the events that culminated in Ames’ death, through interviews with several figures in adult entertainment, including Ames’ widowed producer husband Kevin Moore. Carefully crafted and featuring compelling storytelling throughout, Jon Ronson handles issues, that could easily descend into salacious territory, in a consistently sensitive manner, taking great care not to sensationalise Ames’ untimely death. Gripping and informative, this podcast is a must listen.

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The Missing Cryptoqueen

The brief: Unsolved mystery, tech edition
Frequency: Eight episode series
Average time: 35 minutes

Dr Ruja Ignatova was the glamorous ‘cryptoqueen’ who promised investors the world with her new cryptocurrency OneCoin. Seemingly at the forefront of a financial revolution, it was poised to become the new Bitcoin and turn its investors into millionaires. However, after amassing £4bn and thousands of followers, OneCoin was exposed as a glorified pyramid scheme. In 2017, secret warrants were issued for the arrests of its founders, but Dr Ruja simply disappeared. And she’s never been seen since. This podcast sees tech expert Jamie Bartlett hunt the globe in search of Dr Ruja, the mastermind behind one of the biggest cryptocurrency scams ever seen. If you were a fan of The Dropout (below), you’re sure to find yourself lost in this thrilling chase.

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Redhanded

The brief: Two Brits cover whodunits, mysteries and other curious crimes
Frequency: Weekly
Average time: 50 minutes

If you’re a true crime expert, tired of hearing the same cases rehashed over and over, Redhanded has got you covered. Bringing light to cases that you’ve likely never heard of, as well as original new perspectives on the few that you have, this podcast sees its two hosts cover gruesome cases in great detail. Looking at everything from serial killers to hauntings and possessions, there’s no topic too disturbing for these girls to explore. Well-researched and witty, while the podcast covers a lot of content, the natural flow and rapport of the two hosts makes Redhanded an easy listen. Sharp commentary alongside the facts sets this apart from your average true crime podcast, with the end result being an entertaining yet informative listen.

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The Dropout

The brief: An exploration of the lies that built the youngest self-made female billionaire
Frequency: Six episode series
Average time: 45 minutes

This podcast follows the unprecedented rise and eventual fall of Elizabeth Holmes, a Stanford dropout hailed as 'the next Steve Jobs'. Once the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire and CEO of a revolutionary blood testing startup valued at $9 billion, The Dropout unravels evidence from a three-year investigation into Holmes’ disturbing track record of fabrication, deceit and betrayal. Hosted by Rebecca Jarvis, Holmes’ story is told through a compilation of interviews with former patients, employees, investors and even her own testimony. Risking the welfare of potentially millions of patients, in this podcast we are shown the distressing extent to which one woman was willing to go in order to chase fame and ambition. Make sure you’re up to speed on the case ahead of Holmes’ scheduled 2020 trial.

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To Live and Die in LA

The brief: Real life Hollywood mystery with no shortage of twists and turns
Frequency: 12 episode series
Average time: 30 minutes

In 2018, aspiring actress Adea Shabani disappeared from her Hollywood apartment. So what happened? Having moved to L.A. from Macedonia to make a name for herself, at just 25-years-old, Shabani had everything ahead of her. In this gripping series, Rolling Stone journalist Neil Strauss follows the case as it unfolds, as told through jarring first-hand accounts, clips and evidence. Drawing together details from this multi-state investigation, you will find yourself compulsively listening to this violent, intricate game of cat-and-mouse. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, another twist hits.

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Truth and Lies: Jeffrey Epstein

The brief: Giving voices to the women who survived his crimes
Frequency: Eight episode series
Average time: Roughly 45 minutes

We all know the end of the story, but how did financier Jeffrey Epstein get away with his repeated abuse of young women for so long? This podcast uncovers the sex offender’s far-reaching network of underage girls and the horrific acts that resulted in dozens of victims spanning across multiple states. Tracking Epstein’s sexual abuse back to 2005 when investigators first began unraveling his dark past, this podcast tells the stories of the women who lived through it, as well as lawyers and investigators who sought to bring Epstein to justice.

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Casefile

The brief: The answer to your true crime addiction
Frequency: Every Saturday
Average time: One hour

No podcast lineup would be complete without Casefile. Hosted by an anonymous Australian man (only serving to add to the appeal of the series), this true crime podcast examines a whole host of cases in its weekly episodes. Unearthing the grisly evidence and true stories surrounding solved and cold crimes alike, this is sure to be a hit if you’re a Serial fan. The best part? If you’ve only just discovered Casefile, you’re in for a treat, as it’s been going since 2016, meaning there are hundreds of episodes for you to catch up on. Or, if you’re looking to see what it’s all about before investing hours, some fan favourites of this podcast include the Silk Road series and coverage of the Moors murders. Guaranteed you won’t want to stop listening. But, you may also struggle to sleep after listening.

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Best music podcasts

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Song Exploder

The brief: Musicians explain the stories behind their hits
Frequency: Every other Wednesday
Average time: 20 minutes

A podcast in which musicians deconstruct their songs to reveal how they came to fruition in short but sweet episodes. Offering first-hand insights from artists into the backstories behind some of their biggest hits from both a technical and personal point of view, Song Exploder is in no way just for audio junkies. Songs covered range from that of Norah Jones to the Game of Thrones theme song, but if you only listen to one episode from this podcast make sure it’s the Fleetwood Mac one.

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Popcast

The brief: A music critic dissects the charts
Frequency: Generally weekly, differing days
Average time: One hour

Hosted by Jon Caramanica, Popcast is much more than a podcast about pop music. Taking a closer look into a huge range of musical genres, this series examines everything from whether AirPods are worth the money to Kanye West’s radical shift into religious music. Peppered with fascinating insights and expert interviews, Popcast is a thorough and well-researched look into the music world from a critic with years of experience. At the very least you’ll come away from listening with a host of new dinner party conversation starters.

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Best podcasts for learning something new

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You’re Wrong About

The brief: Reconsidering media misinterpretations
Frequency: Every Monday
Average run time: One hour

Revisiting public figures or events that were miscast in the public eye, You’re Wrong About is a podcast that sees hosts Michael Hobbes and Sarah Marshall unravelling the truth behind media misinterpretations that have come to shape public perception.

At a time when chaos and conspiracy rules, Sarah and Mike’s thorough debunking of some of history’s most misunderstood events provides some much needed calm insight. Examining everything such as as Princess Diana and conspiracy theories, you’re sure to learn something you didn’t know before.

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Stuff You Should Know

The brief: Everything you’ve ever wanted to know
Frequency: Every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday
Average run time: 50 minutes

Laugh and learn your way through Stuff You Should Know as hosts Chuck and Joe deliver informative content in a light yet engaging manner. The duo manage to make even the most mundane of subjects interesting (we’re looking at you, 'Episode 92: Oh Yes, How Soil Works').

The huge range of topics covered in this podcast makes it an easy one to dip in and out of, allowing listeners to pick out episode titles that pique their interest. Better still, the sheer volume at which these podcasts are put out means you’ll never be bored again, with new episodes four times a week. At the very least it will give you some conversation starters, at the most it will teach you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about satanism, cabbage patch kids, deepfakes and beyond.

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Duolingo Spanish Podcast

The brief: Adiós procrastination
Frequency: Every Thursday
Average run time: 20 minutes

Chances are you’ve heard of Duolingo before. A handy little app designed to help users learn new languages, we all know too well how easy it is to skip one day of learning and see that roll into a week and months of not keeping up with your new skill. So for the days when you want to push on with learning without staring at a phone screen, try the Duolingo Spanish Podcast. Intended to help English speakers learn Spanish, each episode tells a compelling real-life story in simple Spanish, with English narration to help you wade through words you might not be familiar with. The best way to acquaint yourself with common phrases and pronunciation while following fascinating true stories, you’re in for a lot more than just a language lesson when listening to this podcast. Prepare to be blown away by how soothing the Spanish language is, even when telling the most heartbreaking stories.

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99% Invisible

The brief: The design podcast you didn’t know you needed in your life
Frequency: Every Tuesday or Wednesday
Average time: 30 minutes

Shining a light on often overlooked elements of design that surround us on a daily basis, 99% Invisible

Sours: https://www.elle.com/uk/life-and-culture/culture/a29853336/best-podcasts/

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